Connecting established and emerging authors with the community has been the goal of the College of Southern Marylands Connections series since it began more than 20 years ago, with this springs series no exception in bringing nationally recognized talent up-close and personal with a Southern Maryland audience.
Kicking off the spring literary events March 4 will be author Frederick Reuss who has written novels including Mohr, Horace Afoot and Henry of Atlantic City. Author Barbara Hurd, who teaches creative writing at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md, and in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine will be featured on April 1. Rounding out the series will be the Connections literary magazine publication reading, May 6.
CSMs Neal Dwyer, a literature and languages professor as well as a coordinator of the colleges Connections programs and literary magazine, views the colleges literary series as an opportunity to connect and inspire people who may not realize that they have an interest, or talent, in the arts. This is accomplished not only through the writers who are featured as guest speakers each semester but also through the colleges twice-yearly literary magazine that features the poetry, stories, artwork and photography of Southern Maryland residents.
Since it began in 1990, Connections has featured US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, National Book Award winners Tim O'Brien and Robert Stone, Pulitzer Prize winning poets Yusef Komunyakaa and Henry Taylor, and Maryland Poet Laureates Lucille Clifton and Michael Glaser.
Author of five books, Reuss will read from his latest, A Geography of Secrets, beginning at 7:30 p.m., March 4, at CSMs Leonardtown Campus, Building A, Auditorium, as a part of First Friday in Leonardtown. In it, Reuss tells the story of two men, connected only by different secrets. His character Noel Leonard works for the Defense Intelligence Agency, analyzing satellite images to map targets in the Global War on Terror. When Leonard learns that his error has caused a school in Afghanistan to be atomized, he realizes how heavily secrets weigh on his and his familys lives. A parallel plot concerns another man, unnamed, who is a mapmaker and comes to suspect that his late fathers foreign-service career also harbors secrets, and he travels to Europe to uncover them.
Library Journal calls A Geography of Secrets, An understated but masterly work for fans of cosmopolitan, contemplative, contemporary prose. Tickets are $3 in advance and for CSM students with IDs, and $5 at the door for the general public.
Reuss works have appeared in various media forms including journals and newspapers. Reuss lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two daughters.
Hurd, an essay writer, will read excerpts from her latest book, Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains, beginning at 7:30 p.m., April 1, at CSMs La Plata Campus, Building for Business and Industry, Room BI-113. Tickets are $3 in advance and for CSM students with IDs, and $5 at the door for the general public. For information call the box office, 301-934-7828.
Hurd is the author of five books beginning with Objects in the Mirror written in 1994 and her latest, Walking the Wrack Line, completed in 2008. Author of Five Terraces Ann Fisher-Wirth calls Walking the Wrack Line, a series of fascinating, informative nature essays, but more deeply it is a series of meditations on what might be rescued from near-destruction, from silence, from invisibility. It becomes a spiritual autobiography with a great deal to say, though almost always indirectly, about human aging and loss.
Hurds essays have appeared in numerous journals including Best American Essays, The Yale Review, The Georgia Review, Orion and Audubon. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a 2002 NEA Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction and winner of the Sierra Clubs National Nature Writing Award and Pushcart Prizes in 2004 and 2007.
Completing the Connections series will be readings by contributors to the spring literary magazine, beginning at 7:30 p.m., May 6, at the La Plata Campus, Business and Industry Building, Room BI-103. The event is free. Deadline to submit poetry, short stories or black-and-white photography for consideration in the magazine is March 17.
CSMs Connections Literary Series: Frederick Reuss. 7:30 p.m., March 4, College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, Building A, Auditorium, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. CSMs Connections Literary Series presents author Frederick Reuss to read and discuss his work A Geography of Secrets about a world of secrets in which even the smallest choices have devastating consequences. $3 advanced sale through box office or at the door with student id. $5 general admission at the door. 301-934-7864, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, 301-870-2309, Ext. 7864 or www.csmd.edu/connections.
CSMs Connections Literary Series: Barbara Hurd. 7:30 p.m., April 1, College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Business and Industry Building, Room BI-113, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. CSMs Connections Literary Series welcomes author Barbara Hurd to read and discuss her works. Hurd is a recipient of a 2002 NEA Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction and winner of the Sierra Clubs National Nature Writing Award and Pushcart Prizes in 2004 and 2007. $3 advanced sale through box office or at the door with student id. $5 general admission at the door. 301-934-7864, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, 301-870-2309, Ext. 7864 or BxOffc@csmd.edu. www.csmd.edu/connections.
CSMs Connections Literary Series: Connections Literary Magazine. 7:30 p.m., May 6, College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Business and Industry Building, Room BI-103, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Contributors to the Spring 2011 issue of Connections will read from and discuss their works. Free. 301-934-7864, 240-725-5499, 443-550-6199, 301-870-2309, Ext. 7864 or www.csmd.edu/connections.